June 13, 2024

Email correspondence can be a problematic and unlike having a ‘face to face’ conversation, can have more weight behind it as there is time to consider a structured response as well as the recipient not being able to judge the emotional state it’s conveyed in. However, there are a few simple things to remember that can help you.

What exactly is ”NETIQUETTE”?

Netiquette = Network Etiquette. Like other groups or communities, the internet (and in the case of this guide) has its own code of conduct (known as ‘netiquette’) which governs how users should behave. The internet is on the whole a liberal environment however there are a few common guidelines that have been adopted, and if you break these you may well irritate or upset other users.

Do not type all in CAPITALS

If you type in all capital letters you are drawing attention to something but in a way that can be perceived as SHOUTING or yelling. People do not do this in normal conversation so do be careful not to ‘shout’ in e-mails.

Minimise the use of exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!

Traditionally, the exclamation mark ends a sentence with emphasis. Usually, ending a sentence, one is enough however there have been some that go overboard. Use them sparingly and only when appropriate as overuse can be considered as ‘shouting’.

Never send an e-mail while you are angry!

If you do receive a nasty email, take a few minutes away from the offending item and do not respond right away. Angry e-mail conversations seldom end in a nice way and can cause both parties grief. If you do not have something nice or constructive to say, or at the very least sternly professional – just press delete.

Avoid the Friday afternoon Trolling.

We all work hard during the week and deserve some down time, try not to ruin this by sending out critical or negative e-mails on a Friday afternoon as this can often leave a person feeling down or upset over the weekend. Send it during the next week, not only will this help in some way to contribute towards College, but it will give you more time to carefully consider what you need to say.

Remember the Business hours.

Just because you are still awake after your night out does not mean that your co workers are.  Remember that although e-mail transmission is quick, not everyone is sat at their computer 24/7. Teachers will be in classrooms, part time staff may not be in until later in the week and some people may be on holiday, so be patient and just wait for a reply.

Remember you are representing Sidmouth College.

Each member of staff has a right to use their mail boxes for limited personal use, however remember that it is a work e-mail account and every message you send is being sent by the College.
A poorly worded email can get both yourself and the College into trouble.

All private email is considered to be copyrighted by the original author.

If you post private email you receive on a public website or board, or even forward it (or parts of the content) to an outside party, you must include the author’s permission to post the material publicly. By not doing so you are breaching various copyright laws and can also get you into trouble with the concerned parties.

Never expose your contact’s addresses to strangers.

We all get those e-mails from friends who received it from their other friends, who…. and so on. Unless you cut and paste only the relevant bits you will be forwarding on everyone’s e-mail addresses that have been a recipient in the chain. People take great pains to keep their personal details and e-mail addresses private. How would you like it if your e-mail was given to a random stranger, or even worse put on the web and used by spammers?

Never give out phone numbers or personal information.

Remember that personal information should be just that, personal. Do not give out any details to a third party without the agreement of the person the information relates to

Do not use Return Receipt Request (RR) for each and every email you send.

Do not just use this because you like “knowing” when someone opens your email. Not only can this be rather annoying to the recipient, but can be deemed to be intrusive! We all should have the right to determine when/if they want to open, read and reply – period. RR’s should only be used when there is a reason to do so and both sides are aware of why.

Do not leave the Subject field blank.

Try to have a Subject: field that has a brief yet concise description of the content of your email. Not only will this help both you and the recipients to organise and reply to e-mails, but also will ensure that they are not overlooked, or at times auto deleted or ‘spammed’.

Always minimize, compress or “zip” large files before sending.

A lot of people send files without considering their attachment size. This can cause issues from filling up users mailboxes to not getting through at all due to size limitations. Remember that if you are sending files, they contribute to your total mailbox quota too through sent items (of which you can delete).

Try to limit coloured text, background colours & images in day to day e-mails.

By not doing this, you can make your emails impossible to read. Remember e-mails can go to various sources and be read in differing ways, what may work for you, might not work for someone who is viewing text only e-mails. Large images also slow down transmission and sometimes block it completely due to file sizes as most companies have limits to attachment sizes.

Do not forward virus warnings or Hoax e-mails!

Virus warnings received from others are generally always hoaxes, so only warn colleagues and friends if you know that your computer has a virus that you inadvertently may have passed on to them. If you are sent a hoax, let the person who forwarded it to you know that they are perpetrating misinformation and unintentionally alarming others.